The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 27, 2013

Early Exit for Williams

(Continued)

PARIS —

She probably saw plenty of Venus on television, too, but the older Williams is no longer the same player.

In a sign of the way things would develop, Venus was broken at love in the very first game. With Serena and their mother, Oracene Price, sitting in the stands — both occasionally placing chin on hand, looking glum — Venus kept missing the mark, finishing with 66 unforced errors to 40 for Urszula.

The match lasted 3 hours, 19 minutes, but it appeared ready to end much sooner, because Urszula took a 4-0 lead in the second-set tiebreaker, three points from victory.

Perhaps feeling some nerves, Urszula started missing more, and Venus sprinkled in the occasional winner, reeling off seven points in a row to even the match at a set apiece. But Urszula broke Venus to open the third set and moved out to a 4-0 edge. Venus made one last stand, getting within 5-4 — a handful of fans in the nearly empty Court Suzanne Lenglen stands started a clap-accompanied chant of “Let’s go, Venus, let’s go!” — she couldn’t manage to pull even.

The match ended, fittingly, with one last miscue by Venus, a backhand she dumped into the net.

“I’m still shaking. Just a long match,” Urszula told the crowd afterward. “It’s an amazing feeling to beat her.”

———

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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